MANIFEST A WASTE, SO GIVE THE NEW DOCTOR A VISIT
It could’ve been so good – a flashy new series with a genuinely intriguing concept. Instead, it’s a total waste.
Manifest, airing Wednesdays on Nine, is the highest-rating new US series and it actually has a pretty intriguing hook.
Almost 200 passengers and crew board a plane in Jamaica, bound for New York. After one turbulent episode, when they finally land in NYC, they’re surrounded by flashing lights and scurrying federal agents.
That’s when one of the men in black tells them, they boarded their flight in April 2013 and it’s now 2018, they’ve been missing and presumed dead for five years. Not one of the people on the plane has aged a day.
It’s aiming to be a high-concept series in the vein of Lost, The Leftovers, The 4400 and The Returned, a drama dealing with the fall-out of what happened to that plane and how these people fit back into the lives that moved on without them.
But despite its promise, it devolves into cheesy sentimentality a la Touched by An Angel with its maybe-explanation of whose hand was behind the incident.
Oh, and some of the people on the flight now have special powers where they hear voices and sounds that help them save people. What a waste.
So what to watch instead? If you’re a non-Whovian, like me, give the new season of Doctor Who a go.
It’s a new era for the iconic, long-running British sci-fi series. A new Doctor, in the form of a woman, and a new writing team with an almost-blank slate to really make their mark – so anyone can jump into Doctor Who without the weight of 55 years of TV history to contend with.
Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch) as the Thirteenth Doctor has an amazing energy – at times manic, at times nurturing and, at all times, really likeable. “Oh, brilliant” were the first words the new Doctor uttered and “oh, brilliant” is exactly what Whittaker is going to be.
It’s pretty great – especially if you’re looking for an adventure story you can share with your kids.